A professor of counselling and mental health at York St John University, Lynne believes that research underpins large areas of the Association’s work.

"Research is vital in supporting members and helping the public and commissioners to make informed choices about counselling." said Lynne. 

"Meaningful evidence around the impact of counselling and psychotherapy is vital for our profession. The more evidence you have of the efficacy and the impact of psychological interventions, the more opportunities that creates. Really good quality research and outputs from that research are like gold dust. They’re leverage for liaising with and influencing government ministers, commissioners and civil service departments. Evidence is intricately linked to job opportunities."

Lynne, who was Chair of BACP between 2008 and 2011, became our President in May. She was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours last year for services to higher education and mental health. She said an area of interest for her was supporting BACP’s work to influence Government and policy makers to increase access to paid roles for counsellors and psychotherapists.

"I’d love to see more paid employment and job opportunities for our members, with a particular emphasis on those who are training as counsellors and psychotherapists." said Lynne.

"BACP has been working intensely to support the tactical use of research for some time, resulting in the growth of counselling in schools, the inclusion of counselling professions within NHS work planning, and the increasing recognition of the value of therapy. There’s been growth in recent years in employee assistance programmes, although there have been issues around low wages for practitioners. Research evidence can help generate employment that’s meaningful and appropriately remunerated, because not everybody wants to go into self-employment."

Lynne said the advancement of technology and the growth of digitalisation in counselling and psychotherapy was also an area for BACP to lead on.

"This is part of the new five-year strategy. The global platform for mental health is changing rapidly and BACP needs to be, as far as possible, ahead of the game.

This is an area that needs research. It needs enquiry into impact, into efficacy, and into which apps and approaches work best for which clients."

Professor Lynne Gabriel OBE, President of BACP

Professor Lynne Gabriel OBE, President of BACP